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WRC NEWS 

Latvala castigates himself for error

Jari-Matti LatvalaJari-Matti Latvala feels he let the Ford team down with his error while leading the Rally Ireland this morning.

The Finn had dominated the opening stage, winning it by 17 seconds over Stobart Ford's Urmo Aava (the only other front-runner on extreme wet tyres), and out-pacing teammate Mikko Hirvonen by 32 seconds and champion Sebastien Loeb by 42 seconds.

But a mistake in the next test left Latvala with a damaged car and forced him to retire.

"I came into a fast left corner that tightened, with a bank on the outside," he said.

"The car snapped sideways in the water and I tried to correct it, but in doing so I was forced to cut and the front left of the car hit a rock. The impact threw the car across the road and into the bank.

"I drove 10km to the finish with two punctures. The front left track control arm was broken and although we tried to fix it with straps, they weren't strong enough. The driveshaft also came out but we were able to repair it."

Latvala did not blame the difficult wet conditions and said the accident was entirely his responsibility.

"I'm so disappointed and feel I have let the team down," he said. "I should have been more careful."

He will rejoin via Superally tomorrow, but will be in 25th place, 21 minutes off the pace.

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